Apoquel Drug: What is the Alternatives?

Many dog owners come across an issue where their dog gets an itch that can be an issue, as it gets so intense that your dog suddenly becomes a maniac because of that itch. The itch is so bad that it keeps the dog up for nights. This becomes a major health concern if the itch won’t go away soon.

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The itch leads the dog to bite its own body or rub the area so terribly that it gets inflamed or forms bruises. This is a major concern amongst dogs. There are hundreds and thousands of issues registered in hospitals similar to skin allergies in dogs.

That’s when the drug Apoquel hit the market like a storm. This might be popular amongst owners or vets, but it carries its own side effects and risks, which might be enough to change the mind of anyone who goes to buy it.

Check some best alternatives for the dog here.

Check the best alternative for the cat here.

What is Apoquel?

Apoquel is a drug that claims to provide relief from the unstoppable urge to itch within an amazingly short period of time. The drug is FDA-approved and works as an immunosuppressant.

It treats chronic dermatitis and flea attacks that cause itching in dogs. It has been the number #1 choice of vets all around the world.

Usually, the itch is caused because of abad immune system, so the drug works as an “immune-modulator.” In other words, this drug works as an immune system in dogs. It actually kills the sensation that makes the dog itch by interfering with the enzymes in its body.

This way, it helps in providing relief from the itch. The drug is so effective that it works perfectly within 24 hours, providing complete immunization from the itch and treating the affected area thoroughly. This disease is much better than the deadliest Parvovirus dog disease.

What are the side effects?

This drug is just perfect, as it provides total relief from the itch. But maybe, it is too good to be perfect and that’s why there are some things that many people neglect.

This might be good for small-term use as it has not been lab-tested on dogs for more than 30 days. This makes it risky as there is no proof that it will work perfectly for more than a month.

Also, the test was conducted for a month on dogs, and the results were not what the scientists expected. Some of the dogs showed behavioral issues and abnormal health conditions, which involved vomiting, diarrhea, etc.

Also, the immune system of the dogs was compromised as there was no guarantee for how long there would be the need to use this drug. It could go on for a year, and it might turn out bad for dogs within that year.

Another concern is the drug is limited to dogs older than the age of 12 months. Smaller dogs are more likely to develop bacteria and infection when given the drug, making it deadly for them. There is actually no proof that it will work perfectly for adult dogs, as there are risks attached to it.

What are the alternatives?

It is not necessary to use medication for something like an itch, and yes, there are ways in which you can stop that itch in your dog without having to use any drug.

There is actually a program that specially deals with helping dogs get rid of their itch. It is an allergy elimination program, and it is very effective.

It might not be as effective as the Apoquel drug, but it does not have any risks or side-effects. It helps to strengthen your dog’s immune system, and it will eliminate the itch forever.

7 Best Apoquel Natural Alternatives

Allergy Immune Supplement for Dogs with Omega 3 Wild Alaskan Salmon Fish Oil & Epi Cor

Made in the US, the allergy immune supplements from Epi Cor arechewable tablet supplements that are free from corn, wheat, soy, and grain. They are suitable for all breeds of dogs inall life stages.

The ingredients present in this supplement are digestive and immune-friendly. It is also lamb-flavored and tastes great.

It is Rich in Omega 3 protein and digestive probiotics, this supplement is an amazing alternative for Apoquel.

It works towards preventing itching and inflammations by building a strong immune system. Its natural ingredients are what makes it a safe supplement for your furry friend. 

Epi Cor is a mixture of healthy ingredients: proteins, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and fibers. Alaskan salmon oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids that improve a dog’s immune system and colostrum supports good digestion and stops the allergy.

The five-strain probiotic complex also improves the immune system. These natural, nourishing nutrients make these soft chewable tablets one of the best.


  1. 250 mg Colostrum
  2. 80 mg EpiCor fermentate
  3. 75 mg Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. 70 mg Salomon Oil
  5. 60 mg Organic Licorice Root
  6. 250 million CFU 5-strain probiotic blend


Here’s when to give your dog this supplement-

  1. Constant itching
  2. Inflamed skin
  3. Diarrhea and Vomiting
  4. Poor coat
  5. Development of hot spots


  1. Avoid places where there are fleas around
  2. Change the diet
  3. Avoid contact with allergic dogs


  1. If the dog weighs up to 25 lbs, 1 chew per day should be given
  2. If the dog weighs between 26-75 lbs, 2 chews per day should be given
  3. If your dog weighs more than 75 lbs, 3 chews per day should be given


  1. Uses fully natural ingredients
  2. Boosts immune system of dogs
  3. Contains 5-strains of probiotics
  4. Enhanced with EpiCor
  5. Rich in Omega 3 Fish Oil 
  6. Easily accessible and available over-the-counter


  1. Taste can be off-putting
  2. May cause diarrhea
  3. Dogs may also show symptoms of lethargy

Vet’s Best Hot Spot Spray for Dogs

If you are looking for a supplement that can provide instant relief to your dog’s constant itching and soothe its hot spots then you can go for this amazing spray.

It includes natural tea tree oil, chamomile, and aloe vera that promotes healing and provides relief. It has the no-sting formula that is super effective on the dogs’ skin.

Made in the US, the Vet’s Best Hot Spot Spray has beena veterinarian recommended spray for the last 30 years to control itching and allergies in dogs.

It is completely free from harmful chemicals and is made from natural ingredients that provide fast and long-lasting relief to hot spots.

apoquel alternatives

The natural ingredients are tree tea oil, aloe vera, and chamomile. They are the best when it comes to soothing the inflamed and irritated skin by providing sting-free fast relief.

This spray is alcohol-free and works well with other medication. However, it should not be used on cats and pregnant or nursing dogs.


  1. Chamomile
  2. Tea tree oil
  3. Aloe Vera
  4. Allantoin


  1. Unstoppable itching
  2. Constant discomfort
  3. Scratching
  4. Hot spots
  5. Skin irritation


  1. Avoid spraying near eyes, genitals, and mouth
  2. Not for cats or nursing and pregnant dogs
  3. Not for puppies under the age of 12 weeks
  4. Consult a vet if you see no improvement in pet’s condition


To treat hot spots- 

  1. Spray directly on hot spots and repeat 1-4 times every day

To treat seasonal allergies from pollen and fleas- 

  1. After bathing, mix 8 tbsp of spray in half cup water
  2. Massage on your dog’s coat
  3. Don’t rinse the mixture
  4. Don’t exceed application more than two times in one day


  1. Provides instant relief from itchy and dry skin
  2. Contains plant-based ingredients
  3. Alcohol-free formula to prevent stinging
  4. Doesn’t contain steroids like hydrocortisone


  1. Scent can be too strong for dogs
  2. Results may be temporary

Vet’s Best Healthy Coat Shed and Itch Relief Dog Supplement

This is another Apoquel alternative that you can go for. It helps in relieving itch and shedding in dogs.

From promoting normal shedding to maintaining a healthy coat, this supplement is your dog’s best friend. Moreover, this balanced remedy is specially formulated in the form of a chewable tablet.

It’s a natural alternative to Apoquel whose support comes from the mixture of natural ingredients like yellow dock root, MSM, omega fatty acids, and quercetin.

And most importantly, this supplement has been approved by the National Animal Supplement Council. 

Made in the US, Vet’s Best Healthy Coat Shed and Itch Relief Supplement is a veterinarian recommended chewable tablet suitable for mature dogs of all breeds.

For the last 30 years, this product has maintainedfur shedding and provides relief from the itchy and inflamed skin.

apoquel alternatives

It is made from a mixture of natural ingredients like yellow dock root, quercetin, and omega fatty acids. They stop excessive shedding, keep the skin healthy and the fur shiny, and control itching.

This product is safe and NASC approved. One bottle has 50 tablets and the recommended dosage should be given for the best results.


  1. Oregon grape root
  2. Yellow dock root
  3. Omega 3 fatty acids
  4. Nettle leaf
  5. MSM
  6. Quercetin
  7. Omega 6 fatty acid
  8. Burdock root
  9. Red clover blossom


  1. Itching
  2. Hotspots
  3. Inflammation
  4. Constant scratching


  1. Safe use in dogs that are pregnant isn’t proven
  2. If you see no improvement, stop the dosage
  3. Consult a vet if you unsure


  1. If the dog is under 25 lbs, ½ tablet should be given
  2. If the dog is between 25 to 50 lbs, 1 tablet should be given
  3. If the dog is between 50 to 75 lbs, 1 ½ table should be given
  4. If the dog is over 75 lbs, 2 tablets should be given


  1. Provides relief from itching and shedding
  2. Vet formulated tasty chews
  3. Contains natural ingredients
  4. Approved by NASC
  5. Highly affordable


  1. Known for causing diarrhea
  2. Yeast may cause infection

Vet’s Best Seasonal Allergy Relief Dog Supplements, 60 Chewable Tablets

This is another supplement from Vet’s Best that helps in tackling seasonal allergies in dogs and provides faster relief. The supplement supports the proper skin moisture and maintains normal levels of histamine.

The blend is formulated by vets with plant-based premium ingredients. The tablets are chewable and can be given directly to the dogs or can be added to the meals.

Made in the US, Vet’s Best Seasonal Allergy Relief Supplement is a veterinarian-recommended chewable tablet suitable for mature dogs of all breeds.

For the last 30 years, this product has provided itch relief to dogs that suffer from seasonal allergies.

It is made from a mixture of natural ingredients like needle, quercetin, perilla leaf and citrus. The anti-oxidants control histamine levels, provide relief from seasonal allergies and maintain healthy skin and fur.

The ingredients support maximum digestion and absorption. This product is safe and NASC approved. A bottle contains 60 tablets and is safe for dogs above one year and/or elder.


  1. Methylsulfonylmethane
  2. Nettle Extract
  3. Citrus Bioflavonoids
  4. Ascorbic Acid
  5. Quercetin
  6. Perilla Leaf Extract
  7. Blend of antioxidants


If your dog is showing the following symptoms, you can give this supplement. 

  1. Itching
  2. Constant scratching
  3. Inflammation
  4. Hotspots


  1. Not proved to be useful for pregnant dogs
  2. If no improvement is seen, stop the dosage
  3. Consult a vet if unsure


  1. If the weight is between 10 to 24 lbs, ½ tablet should be given every day
  2. If the weight is between 25 to 49 lbs, 1 tablet should be given every day. 
  3. If the weight is between 50 to 75 lbs, 1 ½ tablet should be given every day
  4. If the weight is above 75 lbs, 2 tablets should be given every day


  1. Use plant-based ingredients
  2. Provides relief from itch and scratching
  3. Approved by NASC
  4. Available over-the-counter
  5. Promotes healthy digestion


  1. Soy lecithin may cause allergies
  2. May cause vomiting
  3. Known for causing diarrhea


Pro-Sense Itch & Allergy Solutions for Pets, 100-Count

This is another over-the-counter supplement for Apoquel that can be used to provide relief from the symptoms of allergy and itching in dogs.

It not only helps in reducing the itching, but it also provides relief from other minor irritations on the skin.

Moreover, there can be other symptoms too, that can develop in dogs such as watery eyes and a poor coat. This supplement helps in treating those with ease. The supplement is also economically viable.

Made in the US, Pro-Sense Itch and Allergy Solution is a tablet suitable for adult dogs of all dog breeds.

This tablet is an antihistamine which provides temporary relief from itching and allergies by controlling the histamine levels.

apoquel alternatives

This product works exclusively to reduce allergy and provides fast temporary relief from itching and inflammation. It also reduces annoying itching symptoms like watery eyes, running nose and sneezing.

Each bottle contains 100 tablets which should be given twice a day, according to the dog’s weight and the bottle is on-the-go friendly.

The tablet should not be mixed with any other product and is suitable for dogs above 15 lbs.


Active Ingredient- 25 mg Diphenhydramine in each tablet – Antihistamine


It relieves the symptoms of allergies as mentioned below- 

  1. Constant itching
  2. A runny nose
  3. Sneezing
  4. Watery eyes


  1. Get your pet examined before starting the medication

Consult a vet if your dog has following – 

  1. Glaucoma
  2. Heart disease
  3. Asthma
  4. Hypertension
  5. Urinary Bladder Obstruction
  6. Enlarged prostate gland
  7. Hyperthyroidism


  • If your pet weighs 15 lbs and over, 1 ½ table should be given per every 15 pounds of pet’s body weight – twice a day. 
  • For pets weighing less than 15 lbs, you should consult a vet before starting the medication.


  1. It is available over-the-counter
  2. Relieves allergy symptoms like itching, sneezing, runny nose, etc. 
  3. Boost the immune system and kills the urge to scratch


  1. Not as effective on all pets
  2. Does not work well for treating seasonal allergies

PetHonesty Allergy Relief Supplement for dogs

This allergy relief supplement from Pet Honest is an amazing alternative of Apoquel that you should definitely try.

Available over-the-counter and on sites like Amazon, this supplement is great when it comes to allergy relief and building immunity in your pet.

The chews not only promote allergy relief but they also promote digestive health with its all-natural ingredients. 

apoquel alternative

Moreover, the supplement is GMO-free and does not contain any wheat or corn or added preservatives that can cause an allergic reaction in dogs.

In fact, the supplement is made up of all-natural ingredients and free of added sugar. To treat the itchy skin and allergies, the supplement features Salmon Oil containing fatty acids that are known for improving the health of the immune system.

So, if you are looking for Apoquel alternative then you can definitely go for this one

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  1. 500 mg Colostrum 
  2. 200 mg Organic Turmeric Root
  3. 100 mg Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
  4. 100 mg Vitamin C 
  5. 100 mg Organic Mushroom Blend
  6. 50 mg Quercetin Dihydrate
  7. 25 mg Apple Cider Vinegar
  8. 400 mill CFU* Probiotic Blend


Here’s when to use this supplement.

  1. Swollen face
  2. Hair loss
  3. Scratching
  4. Dry skin and hot spots
  5. Red ears
  6.  Excessive itching 


  1. Do not start medication without consulting a vet
  2. If your pet has a medical condition, consult a vet
  3. It’s not for pregnant dogs or dogs that are there for breeding


  1. If your dog is 25 lbs or less, 1 chew should be given daily
  2. If your dog is between 26 to 75 lbs, 2 chews should be given daily
  3. If your dog is above 75 lbs, 3 chews should be given daily


  1. Helps in reducing allergy symptoms
  2. Improves the immune system
  3. Supports digestive health
  4. Contains all-natural ingredients
  5. It’s GMP certified
  6. No sugar, wheat or preservatives


  1. May cause vomiting
  2. Not for all dogs
  3. The smell may be off-putting for some pets

NaturVet Aller-911 Aid Plus Antioxidant Supplement for Dogs

This antioxidant supplement from NaturVet is last in the list, but it is no less than any other when it comes to treating the allergies and relieving the symptoms of itching.

The supplement comes in the form of tasty chews that are a perfect source of antioxidants that help in supporting the natural immune system of dogs. 

The supplement features DHA, EPA, and Omegas that maintain the skin moisture and overall respiratory health of dogs. 

apoquel alternatives

These chews are tasty and packed with ingredients that can improve the overall health of your dog and provide relief from the symptoms of allergies. This product is only meant for use in dogs that are over 12 weeks of age.

Moreover, the product is free of wheat and is certified by NASC. So, if you are looking for the best alternative for Apoquel to treat allergies in your dog, then this is the perfect product for you.

It is available over-the-counter and can be easily found on Amazon. This comes as 70 soft chews that can be given to your dog according to the required dosage. 

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  1. 53 mg Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  2. 50 mg Turmeric Root
  3. 25 mg Grape Seed Extract
  4. 25 mg Quercetin
  5. 25 mg Pumpkin Powder
  6. 25 mg Bromelain
  7. 21 mg EPA
  8. 14 mg DHA


  1. Poor respiratory health
  2. Poor immune system
  3. Constant itching
  4. Skin allergies


  1. Do not give to dogs under the age of 12 weeks
  2. Consult a vet if your dog has any medical conditions


  1. If your dog’s weight is up to 20 lbs, 2 soft chews should be given
  2. If your dog’s weight is between 21 lbs to 40 lbs, 3 soft chews should be given
  3. If your dog’s weight is between 42 to 60 lbs, 4 soft chews should be given
  4. If your dog’s weight is 61 lbs and above, 6 soft chews should be given

The amount can be divided twice a dosage daily.


  1. Treats allergies
  2. Works as an antioxidant
  3. Contains DHA, EPA, and Omegas
  4. The chews are tasty
  5. Free of wheat
  6. Easily available 


  1. May not work on all dogs

Zyrtec for dogs Vs Apoquel for Dogs: A Well Researched Comparison


Widely known as Cetirizine, Zyrtec is an antihistamine that is used for blocking the H1-receptors that basically stops the itching process.

In simple words, Zyrtec is something that you use to control allergies and itching. Cetirizine helps in reducing the irritation caused by allergens by stopping the pods of allergen in reaching H-1 receptors and prevent the body from the allergy reflex that is generally seen as coughing, sneezing, or itching. 

Even though the drug is primarily used by humans to treat allergies in the bodies and works just fine. Some question if it can be used for animals too.

Well, for your information, many vets do prescribe this medication for animals like cats and dogs. But it is not approved by the FDA for animals.

Still, it is prescribed by vets in some cases. This concept of using human medicines on animals is not foreign or unheard of.

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The active ingredient of Zyrtec is Cetirizine HCL 5 mg and pseudoephedrine HCL 120 mg. 


  1. Sneezing
  2. Coughing
  3. Itching
  4. Watery eyes
  5. Irritation


  1. Dogs and cats who are hypersensitive to antihistamines are not meant to take this medicine. 
  2.  Those pets dealing with liver problems and renal issues should be monitored closely while providing with dosage to avoid any complications. 
  3. This medication should not be given to dogs or cats that are pregnant. 


Generally, Zyrtec should be given in tablet form orally once a day. But in the case of dogs, it is a little different. 

  1. The dosage is largely based on the weight of the dog.
  2. The ratio of dosage is 1 mg of Zyrtec per kilogram weight of the dog. 
  3. Before starting the dosage, make sure that you first consult a vet because this medication may or may not suit your dog. 


  1. Available over-the-counter
  2. It is an antihistamine and prevents allergic reaction
  3. Treats itching, runny nose, and sneezing


  1. Is not approved to be working on dogs
  2. May harm dogs with antihistamine allergies


Apoquel is a popular drug used to treat itching and allergies in dogs. There can be a number of reasons why inflammation can be caused by dogs that can lead to severe itching and allergies.

Some of them are caused by flea allergy, contact allergy, food allergy, and atopic dermatitis. Now, Apoquel is known for providing an onset relief from allergies within a time period of 4 hours.

The drug effectively controls the urge to itching within a day. This makes the drug effective for the treatment of allergies.


The drug is a prescription tablet and is sold on the prescription of veterinarians per tablet. 

Now there are a lot of debates around the safety concerns regarding the use of Apoquel. Some say that it is unsafe for dogs and has a lot of side effects that might harm the overall health of dogs while some use it rather frequently to deal with chronic allergies in dogs.

But one of the biggest concerns is whether the drug is FDA approved or not. Well, in 2013, the drug was approved by the FDA for usage for dogs.


  1. To control pruritus associated with skin allergies
  2. To control atopic dermatitis


  1. Not meant for breeding dogs and pregnant dogs
  2. Dogs should be monitored for any infection that may include neoplasia and demodicosis


The primary dosage of the Apoquel tab is 0.18 – 0.27 mg per body weight of the dog. The dosage should be given orally two times a day for 14 days. 

After 14 days, the dosage should be reduced to one dose per day. 


  1. It controls skin disease
  2. Prevents allergies
  3. Treats existing skin conditions
  4. Treats inflammation, swelling and redness


  1. It can cause UTI
  2. It can cause ear infection and skin infection
  3. It is known for making the dog lethargic
  4. Pneumonia is a common side effect of Apoquel

Comparison: Zyrtec Vs Apoquel

Zyrtec: It starts to work within 1-2 hours in dogs. 

Apoquel: It starts working within 4 hours

Zyrtec: It can cause Constipation, vomiting, impulsive responses, urine retention in dogs.

Apoquel: It can cause lethargy, UTI, skin and ear infection, pneumonia, and increased aggression in dogs.

Zyrtec: Zyrtec is not FDA approved, but can be given as per the vet’s approval

Apoquel:  Apoquel, on the other hand, is FDA approved and is only available on prescription. It is sold per tablet. 


Review on 2 Best Zyrtec Products

Zyrtec 24-hour Allergy Relief

This prescription allergy relief medicine for dogs is a fast working product and can provide relief from symptoms like itching, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, etc, in no time.

They start working within an hour and are known for working twice as hard when they are given to the dog again the next day. 

These are powerful histamine containing 10 mg cetirizine hydrochloride and effectively treat allergies that are caused by indoor environments like mold, dust, dander, etc along with treating allergies that are caught from outside like pollen, grass, weed etc. 


Not just that, it also works effectively against respiratory allergies and hay fever. It is also considered top over-the-counter antihistamines that are taken orally. This supplement is only suitable for children over 6 years of age. 

Now when it comes to dogs, then Zyrtec can be given to them as it is suggested by vets sometimes. But in order to be safe, make sure that you consult your local vet before starting this medication for your dog. 

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Active ingredient- 

  • Cetirizine HCI 5 mg (Antihistamine)
  • Pseudoephedrine HCL 120 mg (Nasal decongestion)


  1. Sneezing
  2. Itchy and watery eyes
  3. Runny nose
  4. Itchy nose and throat


In case of any medical condition, ask the doctor before starting the medication. 


  1. For adults and children over 6 years of age, one tablet of 10 mg daily. 
  2. For dogs, make sure that you consult a vet first


  1. Helps in nasal decongestion
  2. Works as an antihistamine to provide relief from allergies
  3. Treats runny nose
  4. Highly effective


  1. May cause allergies in some
  2. Not effective for everyone 

GoodSense Allergy Relief

GoodSense allergy relief medication is another example of human medication that is commonly prescribed to animals by veterinarians.  This temporarily relieves the symptoms of upper respiratory allergies and hay fever.

Apart from that, it helps with a runny nose, watery eyes, itching in the throat, etc. The medication gives a 24-hour relief and a single dose contains 10 mg cetirizine hydrochloride that provides relief from the symptoms of allergy all day.


So whether it is an allergy from outdoor or from indoor, this is an effective medication to help adults as well as children above the age of 6 years old.

When compared to the active ingredients of Zyrtec, this one contains an antihistamine that is approved for allergy symptoms of both outdoor and indoor.

This medication is meant to be taken only 10 mg per day. But when it comes to dogs, this medication is often prescribed, but if it’s good or bad for your pet is another debate.

Most of the time, human medicines are not meant for dogs, but this one is exceptional as it is often prescribed by vets for dogs so before starting this medication, make sure that you consult an expert veterinarian. 

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Active ingredient- Cetirizine Hydrochloride 10 mg


  1. Itchy throat and nose
  2. Itchy and watery eyes
  3. Runny nose
  4. Sneezing


  1. Not meant for children below 6 years
  2. Consult the  doctor in case of an existing medical condition
  3. Consult a vet before starting medication for dogs


  1. For adults and children over 6 years of age, 1 tablet of 10 mg should be given
  2. For children above 65 years, consult a doctor
  3. For dogs, consult a doctor


  1. Helps with the symptoms of allergies
  2. Treats itchy and watery eyes
  3. Available over-the-counter
  4. Can be used for dogs (vet consultation required)


  1. Provides temporary relief
  2. Not safe for all dogs

Apoquel 16 mg

Apoquel is an allergy medicine for pets, like dogs. Dogs are prone to several types of allergies. They can range from an allergy caused by eating a certain kind of food, from medication, parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites, contact allergy, allergic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis.

Oclacitinib is also known as Apoquel; it controls itching and inflammation within 24 hours. After the initial application, it provides relief within the first 4 hours.

Apoquel has a JAK inhibitor, which works on itch-causing cytokines to stop itching. It provides short-term or long-term fast relief from hot spots and dermatitis caused by itching.

Generic Name for Apoquel

The generic name for Apoquel is Oclacitinib. Oclacitinib has been researched upon in 18 universities of USA and is FDA approved. Some even consider this as a better allergy medication than Prednisone, Dexamethasone, and Triamcinolone.

It is not an antihistamine or corticosteroid but works in the same way. It stops cytokines that cause itching and inflammation in dogs.

It is a prescription canine medication that can be bought from the vet. It should not be used on cats. It is available in tablet form and should not be given to dogs without a proper prescription from the vet. Some side effects are common.

Apoquel Active Ingredients

Apoquel is a prescription oral tablet for dogs. These tablets are small in size, white and oval. They are about 10 mm in size.

The chemical composition of Apoquel is N-methyl [trans-4-(methyl-7H-pyrrolo [2,3-d] pyrimidin-4-ylamino) cyclohexyl] methane sulfonamide (2Z)-2-butenedioate.

They are available in two types of bottles: one contains 20 tablets whereas the other contains 100 tablets. The active ingredient in each tablet is Oclacitinib Maleate, which effectively stops the itching and inflammation.

This prescription animal drug is available in three tablet sizes. The strengths are 3.6 mg, 5.4 mg, and 16 mg. In this article, the 16 mg Apoquel is discussed.

Apoquel Dosage Guide

If the right amount of dose is not given to the dog, there can be severe side effects. The Apoquel Dosage Guide is simple yet important, and it should be read by every pet-owner before using this drug on their pets.

The dosage should be given daily based on a dog’s body weight.

  • Dogs who are 6.6-9.9 lbs should be given half of a 3.6 mg tablet twice a day.
  • For 10-14.9 lbs, the required dosage is half of a 5.4 mg tablet twice a day.
  • For 15-19.9 lbs, the required dosage is a 3.6 mg tablet twice a day.
  • For 20-29.9 lbs, the required dosage is a 5.4 mg tablet twice a day.
  • For 30-44.9 lbs, the required dosage is half of a 16 mg tablet twice a day.
  • For 45-59.9 lbs, the required dosage is two 5.4 tablets twice a day.
  • For 60-89.9 lbs. the required dosage is one 16 mg tablet twice a day.
  • For 90-129.9 lbs, the required dosage is 1½ 16 mg tablet twice a day.
  • For dogs above that, the required dosage is two 16 mg tablets daily.

What are the Apoquel Interactions?

Apoquel is available in tablet form and can be taken daily with or without dog food. This prescription drug is safe to be given simultaneously with other medications too.

The other types of medication include antibiotics, other allergy medications, and anti-inflammatory drugs.

If a dog is going to get vaccinated or has been vaccinated, this medication will not interfere. It can also be used with parasiticides and allergy shots.

Antihistamine drugs like Prednisone may not be able to provide the best results as its action is mild. Apoquel is safe to be given to dogs along with Prednisone for better itch relief.

However, using Apoquel combined with immunosuppressive agents, glucocorticoids and cyclosporine has not been declared safe yet.

Why Wouldn’t I Give My Dog Apoquel?

apoquel alternatives

Usage of Apoquel causes side effects in many dogs. Firstly, dogs younger than 12 months should not be treated with Apoquel.

Secondly, in case of overdose, the pet should be rushed to the vet immediately.

Thirdly, continuous use of Apoquel causes severe problems in dogs. Some of them are mentioned below:

  1. Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, increased appetite, increase in weight, anorexia, and lethargy are some of the common side effects.
  2. Other serious side effects include chances of infections like demodicosis and formation of new cutaneous or subcutaneous lumps.
  3. Some dogs may even suffer from pneumonia, UTIs, skin or ear infections, and polydipsia. The rate of weight gain, uneasiness and ear infections in dogs are unusually high.
  4. Decreased levels of leukocytes and globulins along with higher levels of lipase and cholesterol are noticeable after continuous doses of this medication.
  5. Some studies have shown that this medication is not safe to be used on dogs for a longer period even though it guarantees 100% results.

Apoquel Over-the-Counter

According to the dog’s size and severity of the allergy, Apoquel should be prescribed to them by avet. The basic guide of dosage is twice daily for two weeks and once daily after two weeks.

However, many dog owners complained about Apoquel being too costly and requested over-the-counter alternatives.

Buying over-the-counter medication without a proper prescription from the vet should be avoided. There are several options available like Prednisone, Chlorpheniramine, and Triamcinolone.

However, they are not as effective or safe as compared to Apoquel. So, over-the-counter alternatives are quite scarce.

What Are Good Alternatives to Apoquel?

There are several good alternatives to Apoquel. Apoquel is a good allergy medication, but it can be toxic and harmful to some dogs.

To avoid this, other medications or other techniques can come in handy while dealing with dog allergy issues.

  • One of the best ways to deal with any dog issue is by consulting a vet. The vet will be happy to suggest allergy elimination programs. These programs are safer than Apoquel and aim at strengthening a dog’s immune system.
  • The second alternative would be to get hold of a homeopathic veterinarian rather than jumping onto allergy medications. Homeopathy is extremely safe, pets need and will not only stop the allergy but also take care of the dog’s well-being.
  • Thirdly, there are better allergy medications available in the market today that are considered safer than Apoquel. Atopica can be a better option for some. Medicines like Prednisone can be given with Apoquel.

Apoquel Natural Alternatives

Instead of treating a dog with medications like Apoquel, home-made natural remedies can be used. They are not only easy to make, cheaper, and safer, butthey also cure itching. Some of the natural alternatives of Apoquel are given below.

Histamine is a chemical released during allergy that is responsible for causing the itch. Quercetin is found in fruits and vegetables.

It has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. Quercetin should be given to dogs in a supplement form. Also known as Nature’s Benadryl, it switches the histamine off, thereby reducing itching and inflammation.

  • Colostrum:

Colostrum is found in mammalian milk. It contains PRP, which can stop allergy. Colostrum in the powdered or capsule form should be given to dogs to help ease allergies.

  • Aloe Vera:

Not just for humans, aloe vera gel can be used on dogs too. Aloe gel is known to contain properties that can heal the skin and hair.

Applying the clear gel from the plant will not only soothe the inflamed skin but also keep the fur healthy.

  • Baking Soda:

In general, baking soda has several benefits. For dogs, a baking soda paste or spray will calm the itchy skin and provide relief to the suffering dog.

Can I Take Apoquel on an Airplane?

An Apoquel container can either contain 20 or 100 tablets. The container is light-weight and very easy to carry from one place to another. Yes, it is safe to carry Apoquel while traveling onan airplane.

The constituents of the drug remain the same, and it effectively does not change. However, it is always better to carry the tablets with the prescription and it is also a good option to ask the staff at the airport whether it can be carried in the hand luggage or booked luggage.

For some dog-owners, daily dosing may be an issue. Several allergy shots are available at the vet for them.

Apoquel Alternative Injection

A good alternative to Apoquel is allergy injections. Apoquel is not 100% safe and causes side effects in dogs. At the vet, the dog can be given allergy injections that provide fast and long-lasting relief from itching and allergies.

  • Cytopoint:

Cytopoint is an allergy medication that is only available in the injection form. This option can be opted by pet owners to whom daily dosing is not an option.

It provides relief from allergy for 4-8 weeks. However, it is quite costly and should be used in severe cases only. After the injection, lethargy is one of the common symptoms observed in the first 24-48 hours.

  • CADI (Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic):

CADI is a new allergy and hay fever drug used by vets today. This antibody injection neutralizes the protein that causes itching in dogs and is quite effective.

A monthly dose is enough to provide relief. It is a dog allergy injection and should not be given to cats. Lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea are some of the related side effects.

Which Is Better for Itchy Dogs: Apoquel or Prednisone?

Traditionally, to cure dog allergies, Prednisone was used. It is a steroid that is not only cheap but also cures dog allergies. However, use of steroids leads to many health issues. Steroids cause increased hunger and thirst.

Using them for a long period leads to liver issues and endocrine diseases. The only advantage of Prednisone is that it is very cheap when compared to Apoquel.

Apoquel is a relatively new drug. It is not an antihistamine, but it works in the same way and it works better to completely cure itching.

Just like steroids, antihistamines are also known to cause side effects. However, Apoquel is FDA tested and safer than the others mentioned above as the side effects are lesser.

The only disadvantage of Apoquel is that it is more expensive than Prednisone. Sometimes, a dose of Apoquel and Prednisone can be given to dogs after consulting the vet.

Apoquel vs. Atopica

In the market today, Apoquel and Atopica are the two most effective medications when it comes to fighting allergies and itching in dogs.

They are highly recommended by vets. However, they are different from each other in many ways.

  • Size:

Apoquel and Atopica are both available in tablet forms; Apoquel tablets are smaller in size and easier to administer whereas Atopica tablets are larger in size and become difficult for pet-owners.

Atopica is, however, available in more sizes when compared to Apoquel.

  • Dosing:

Apoquel should be given continuously for two weeks, and Atopica should be given once every month. Due to this, neurontin drugstore usa Apoquel works faster and reduces visible itching within one day, whereas Atopica can take up to 4 weeks to show the best results.

  • Side Effects:

Both the medications affect the immune system but studies show that use of Atopica causes vomiting and diarrhea more than Apoquel.

  • Cost:

Four different sizes come at different prices for Atopica, whereas all the sizes are of the same price for Apoquel.

Apoquel vs. Benadryl

Apoquel is a canine prescription medicine that can be bought in stores or from the vet. However, Benadryl is a natural alternative to Apoquel. They differ from each other to a vast extent.

  • Action:

Benadryl is an antihistamine and is one of the oldest allergy medicines used by vets and pet-owners. Apoquel is a new, better and stronger medication.

Benadryl’s action is quite mild when compared to Apoquel. Benadryl is an over-the-counter alternative to Apoquel and can be more effective if mixed with other medication

  • Side effects:

Apoquel is FDA-tested and is safe to be used by dogs other than the few side effects. Benadryl has been used as a home remedy for a long time; it has been tried and tested by vets for a long time too.

It is safe for dogs other than some gastric side effects. Benadryl can be used by humans too.

  • Cost:

All antihistamines are much cheaper when compared to new medicines like Apoquel.

Apoquel vs. Chlorpheniramine 4 MG Tablets

Chlorphenamine is a traditional allergy medicine whereas Apoquel is a relatively newer allergy drug.

They are totally different from each other because they reduce allergy by targeting completely different chemicals.

  • Action:

Chlorphenamine is an antihistamine. It inhibits the itch-causing histamine in the dog’s body from causing any further itch. Apoquel works by inhibiting the cytokines that are known to cause the itching. Apoquel works better and faster when compared to antihistamines.

  • Side Effects:

Chlorpheniramine causes more side effects than providing a remedy. The common side effects are vomiting, diarrhea, dry mouth, lack of appetite, drowsiness and urinary retention. Apoquel side effects are fewer.

  • Use:

Apoquel is strictly made for canines whereas its counterpart is made for dogs and cats. Chlorpheniramine is also available for humans in different forms.

  • Cost:

Antihistamines are much cheaper when compared to Apoquel, but as mentioned above, its benefits are fewer when compared to Apoquel. Hence, Apoquel is a better option.

Is apoquel over the counter medicine?

Apoquel, a medicine that is used to provide relief from allergies by many, comes under a prescription drug. Unlike other drugs that can be bought over the counter such us accutane from accisotret.com, including Benadryl, Apoquel isn’t exactly the same.

It promises to help your pet get rid of urges to itch within a very short period of time. Since it is FDA-approved, it can be totally trusted.

Whether your pet is attacked by fleas or it’s dermatitis that’s causing the itch, Apoquel treats it all. But one can’t just go to a nearby chemist and buy it. The drug requires a prescription from a veterinarian.

When it comes to working, then the drug is known for being successful at times. But one must not forget that apoquel has its own side-effects that can’t be overlooked while thinking of providing treatment to your pet. That’s why it is advised to get the drug, only after getting a prescription from your vet.

Is there a generic for apoquel?

As far as generics and alternatives are concerned, we would always advise you to go for the natural ones. This way you are not only treating your dog but also keeping it safe from any possible side-effects.

There are many alternatives that you can give if you don’t want to give apoquel such as Allergy immune supplement for dogs by Zesty Paws, Dog itch relief spray by Vet’s best, Dog Itch Relief Supplement by Vet’s Best, Vet’s best seasonal allergy relief and Itch and Allergy solution for pets by ProSense.

These are readily available on Amazon, where you’ll be able to find more alternatives for Apoquel. Make sure that the product is sealed and not tampered from anywhere.

You’ll also be able to find other alternatives from the site. They usually don’t need a vet’s prescription but make sure that you give a heads up to your vet before starting any kind of medication.

Is apoquel a steroid?

There’s a common misconception among pet owners regarding the credentials of apoquel. Some say that it’s a steroid while others say its antihistamine. But not many know that the drug itself belongs to a different class, called Janus Kinase inhibitors.

The main work of this drug is to target the pathway that sends signals of inflammation and itching to the brain. According to reports, this is one of the first drugs belonging to that class being approved by a veterinarian for use.

Unlike antihistamine and other anti-itch meds, apoquel is designed specifically to target the source of all the itch. This helps in providing an efficient, fast-acting relief, with minimal side-effects.

So, in other words, apoquel is not a steroid. Also, it is safe to be used in dogs that are older than one year.

The doses generally depend on the vet’s prescription and your dog’s condition. The drug has not been approved to be used in cats yet.

Can I give my dog apoquel and Benadryl?

Before answering that question, let’s talk about what apoquel and Benadryl do separately to dogs.

Apoquel, a prescription drug, is not only used to treat itching, but also control it as well as inflammation in dogs. Such things are generally triggered following a flea allergy, atopic dermatitis or contact allergy.

The drug claims to provide relief within a small time, generally 4 hours. And within 24 hours, it effectively masks the signs of itching and controls it as well.

Benadryl, on the other hand, is an over the counter drug which acts as an antihistamine, which works by reducing any effects caused by chemical histamine which is found in dogs.

This helps in providing relief from symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, skin rash, watery eyes, and other allergy symptoms.

Now, if you are planning to give both of these drugs together to your dog, then let’s tell you that there’s no harm in that. Yes, you can give Benadryl and apoquel together, safely.

How long does it take for apoquel to work on my dog?

There is a reason why apoquel is the drug-of-choice for many veterinarians and why it is widely popular for treating and controlling itching and inflammation in dogs. The drug takes only about four hours to show its primary effects, which generally include slowing down or cutting down on the itching.

Since it’s a prescription drug, apoquel is usually limited to two doses per day. And this goes on for about 14 days. After 14 days, the dose is usually cut down in half.

If you are looking forward to the results, then we can assure you that you will be seeing the results within 24 hours.

But there’s one thing you should always keep in mind that every dog is different and so is their medical needs.

If you want to start giving apoquel to your dog then we would always advise you to go to a vet first and see if your dog actually needs apoquel or not.

Why isn’t apoquel working for my dog?

Sometimes, owners rely on certain medications, thinking of it as a miracle drug or something that could treat their pet animal in an instant. But that’s not the case every time.

Apoquel is a drug known for its healing properties in dogs suffering from constant itching and inflammation. But it doesn’t mean that if the drug is working on 100 dogs, then it will also work on your dog.

It doesn’t mean that the drug is incapable of treating the infection. Its inability to work on your pet might be indicating another problem.

If it was just itch, then the drug may have successfully worked, but that didn’t happen so it means that there’s some other infection that is providing discomfort to your pet.

In such a case, stop the medication right way and take your pet for a vet visit. It is possible that your dog is suffering from some other infection that went unnoticed before.

Apoquel dosage for 20 lb dog

Apoquel is among one of the top choices of vets around the world when it comes to treating allergies in dogs.

The drug took over the market by making promises and fulfilling them by treating skin issues in hours rather than conventional medications that took days to treat skin issues.

But since it is a drug, it comes with its own set of side-effects and problems, including Vomiting, appetite loss, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased leukocytes and decreased globulins, among others.

That is why the dosage plays a very important role in deciding whether the medication will work for your dog or not. The typical dosage of apoquel is around 0.4 to 0.6 mg per kg twice a day/every 12 hours.

The dosage is usually recommended for 14 days. After the time period of 2 weeks is over, the vet will ask you to reduce the medication down to one per day.

Now, if your dog’s weight is 20 lb then you should give your dog, anywhere around 4.5 mg twice a day.

This will ensure that your dog is getting the right amount of dosage that will help in healing its allergies. Before starting any medication we’d always advise you to consult a trusted vet.

Apoquel dosage for 70 lb dog

When it comes to treating allergies in dogs, apoquel is one of the top choices of veterinarians around the world. The reason behind its popularity is the quick results the medication gives.

Unlike conventional medicines, this one is a bit different as it promises to provide relief from skin allergies and unstoppable itch within 4 – 5 hours of usage.

But there are some downsides to the drug as it is known for causing Vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, decreased globulins and decreased leukocytes.

So, in order to keep the side-effects in control, dosage plays a vital role. Right dosage decides the fate of your dog and is necessary to be considered.

Either you can go to the vet for the right prescription or you can follow the rule of providing a typical dosage of 0.4 to 0.6 mg per kg twice a day or after every 12 hours.

This dosage is generally continued for 2 weeks, after which the vets suggest to continue just 1 dose per day every day.

This helps in keeping the allergies in check. If the weight of your dog is 70 lb then the dosage should be more than 10 mg or more precisely, 15 mg.

Apoquel dosage for 5 lb dog

Apoquel is a medication which will help in dealing with skin problems and allergies in dogs.

Usually, when one such problem occurs in dogs, it leads to inflammation and redness on the skin which can be very painful at times.

That’s when Apoquel comes into play. The drug promises to provide instant relief from the allergies.

The working time of the medicine is generally said to be 4-5 hours, as a result, can be seen within the time period.

It is one of the top choices of veterinarians. Apoquel might be an effective drug but it has its own set of side-effects that include vomiting, etc.

That’s why it is very important to consider the right dosage. The typical dosage involves giving 0.4 mg – 0.6 mg per kg every 12 hours. If your dog is of 5 lb then the right dosage is 2.3 mg.

Apoquel and Cancer: Everything You Need to Know

If you are thinking of treating your dog’s allergies with Apoquel but are worried whether it can cause cancer, then you have come to the right place.

Apoquel has a reputation for treating the allergies and infections in dogs and providing relief within a few hours.

But there are plenty of side-effects that might be a reason for concerns for many pet owners who are now looking for Apoquel alternatives

Is Apoquel linked to cancer?

Now let’s start with the real question if the Apoquel drug is linked to cancer. Well, it is still not clear whether it causes cancer or not. But it does exacerbate pre-existing cancer in dogs.

In simple terms, it can worsen the situation if your dog already has cancer because Apoquel makes your dog prone to demodicosis (infection). It may also lead to other severe health conditions. 

Apoquel Alternatives

These health concerns have given rise to the need for Apoquel alternatives that can cut down on such side-effects and treat the allergy issues in dogs.

So, if you are looking for such alternatives, then you can keep reading this small guide that consists of reviews of allergy treatment supplements that can be used in place of Apoquel. 

Is there a generic medicine for Apoquel?

There is a generic name for Apoquel which is Oclacitinib. The drug was approved by the FDA back in 2013 which gave rise to the demand in its usage.

But now there are plenty of other medicines made of natural ingredients in the market that you can check out

Check Here

A cheaper alternative to apoquel for dog skin problems

When it comes to treating your dog the right way, one should know that there’s nothing better than natural. No chemical can beat what nature can provide your pooch’s health.

If your dog has allergies and you don’t want to use apoquel or any other drug for whatever the reasons, there are many cheap and natural alternatives that you can opt for.

There’s allergy immune supplement available on Amazon for dogs by Zesty Paws. The medication is pocket-friendly and an amazing alternative to apoquel.

The medication helps in boosting the immune system of your dog. It contains a blend of digestive ingredients as well as immune-boosting ingredients.

The treats are chewable and promote healthy skin and a healthy response to food as well as environmental allergies.

Apoquel Natural Alternative

Apart from that, there’s an itch relief spray also available on Amazon by Vet’s best. If your dog has dry and itchy skin, then this spray works like a miracle.

The spray promises to provide relief from skin irritation. Too much scratching can cause inflammation on your dog’s skin and form hotspots.

That’s when this medication comes into play and helps in providing relief and soothe the pain. There are many other cheaper alternatives available in the market that you can opt for.

Is Xanax safe with apoquel for my dog?

It is rather controversial to give Xanax to your dog as some believe that Xanax can actually do more harm than good to your dog. Xanax is generally used by humans in order to treat panic disorders and anxiety.

The chemicals present in the medication usually help in giving a calming effect by attacking the brain and nerves. Now, if your dog is suffering from anxiety, then there are times when a veterinarian will prescribe the drug to your pet.

But if the dog is suffering from anxiety as well as allergies, then the situation becomes a little tricky to handle. Since apoquel and Xanax are both a bit controversial, the usage of both at the same time is rare.

But with the proper dosage and observation, this can be done. If you are looking forward to start both the medications of your dog, make sure that you consider talking to a vet first.

Usually, the side-effects of Xanax in dogs include sedation, uncoordinated walking, and increased appetite.

But overall, it is safe to say that there are no alarming effects of giving both the Xanax and apoquel to your dog in the time of need.

Can I grind apoquel up for my dog?

This is the most commonly asked questions by pet owners. We all know how difficult it is to feed medicine to your dog. Either they neglect it, throw it away or just don’t eat it.

That’s why a lot of owners think of grinding the medicine up and give it to their dogs.

It might look like, you’ll fool your dog with it, but that’s not really the case. Tablets are generally made in a way so that they can get absorbed easily into your body.

But the fact that it tastes so bad makes it easier to swallow than to bite it down.

But dogs usually chew their food which gives them a sense of taste. If your dog is not eating the medicine, then grinding it up and mixing it with food will do you no good.

It might also kill the potency of the medication which you certainly don’t want. It is always better to hide medicine in food rather than grinding it up.

So, in a nutshell, you should not grind apoquel for your dog. If the conditions are extreme and your dog is really not taking the medication then you can ask the vet for help.

Will apoquel work if my dog is diabetic?

Well, it really depends from one dog to another. Apoquel is a medication that is purposely made for allergies in dogs. The medication is widely popular among dog owners and veterinarians.

Now, when it comes to apoquel prescription, one should always try to get it from an authentic veterinarian.

The medication itself might be miraculous by promising unbelievable fast relief from skin problems such as rigorous itching and skin inflammation.

Now, if your dog has diabetes, there is no compulsion for the medication to work. It is very commonly seen that a lot of dogs having problems other than itching and skin problems react in a different way to the drug than those with only allergies.

If your neighbor’s dog with diabetes reacted well to apoquel, it doesn’t mean that your dog would too.

If you want to start the medication for your dog, then make sure that you consult the vet first because apoquel is known for showing side-effects and if your dog has diabetes, then it might not be the best idea to give it something that may harm it.

Still, there are a lot of different medications available out there that can be considered for a diabetic dog such as Cytopoint.

Is it ok for my dog to take carprieve and apoquel together?

When it comes to giving both carprieve and apoquel at the same time to the dog, owners usually get skeptical about the risks involved. But in order to get a better insight, one needs to know the working of these medications individually.

Apoquel is a medication which is prescribed to your dog in order to relive it from allergies. The reason why this medication is so popular is because of its quick results.

The medication promises to relieve your pooch from allergy within 4 hours. Carprieve, on the other hand, is the generic form of NSAID and helps in dealing with inflammation and pain in dogs.

It is considered as one of the top choices of veterinarians around the world. It usually provides relief from pain caused due to osteoarthritis or due to surgery.

It is safe to say that both of these medications can be given to your dog simultaneously, depending on the medical condition of your dog.

There’s no big hazard in giving apoquel and carprieve to your dog at the same time but make sure that you consult a vet in order to ensure the safety of your dog. Minor side-effects from these medications are common in dogs.


  • Sounds like a very informative article. I was actually looking for the best apoquel alternatives information over here and there and finally got lot of essential and handy information in this article. Thanks Willie for sharing your personal and well researched based article that makes the difference from others.

  • My dog has been suffering by allergy and Vet recommended to apply apoquel but I was afraid because of its side effects. I was looking the best alternative of its and this article of Willie Mays really helps me find the right and best apoquel alternatives. Thanks Willie Mays

  • I have used apoquel and it has lot of side effects and finally I stopped using it, I am now looking alternatives for my dog and probably this article makes the difference. Now I have to apply what I found from here.

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